After North Korea’s threat, Japan arms its northern island with additional missile defence system
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the move was to combat Pyongyang’s ‘provocative actions’ in future.
Japan on Tuesday deployed an additional missile defence system on its northern island of Hokkaido, days after North Korea launched a missile over the country, AFP reported.
“As part of measures to prepare for emergencies, we will deploy the PAC-3 unit to a base of the nation’s Ground Self-Defense Force in the southern tip of Hokkaido,” Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.
The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system reached the base hours later, a local defence official told AFP. Onodera said the additional defence system was put in place because they fear that North Korea “may take further provocative actions including launching ballistic missiles that would fly over Japan again in the future”.
The move comes at a time when tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated after Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test last week and fired two missiles over Japan in less than a month. North Korea had fired the first missile over Japan on August 30, saying it was a “first step” to counter the military action in the Pacific Ocean to contain the US territory of Guam.
Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had condemned North Korea’s test and called for an unified international response against Pyongyang. “We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace...,” Abe had said, according to The Telegraph.